New England Patriots star defensive tackle Vince Wilfork played in just four games last season due to a torn Achilles, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll play at a high level next season even at the age of 32. Wilfork is still one of the game’s most dominant run defenders, and he always does a good job of swallowing up blockers and using his strength, size, and smarts to impact plays in the passing game. He’s not a threat to be released at all, but I’m sure the Patriots would love to reduce his $7.5 million base salary next season. He’s still really good, but there’s little doubt that it’s just too much money for them to pay.
Per sources close to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots have recently spoken with Wilfork’s representatives regarding a contract restructuring, and it’s great to hear that both sides are getting together. The Pats need to clear up some cap space with stars Julian Edelman and Aqib Talib hitting the open market, and they could also use a new starting safety and another defensive end to add to the mix. SS is a bigger priority, but they can’t try to fill every position of need through the draft.
Beyond that, having some more cap flexibility is good, and I wonder if the Patriots will end up extending Wilfork’s deal. Even though he is coming off of an injury and is 32, I think he can still play at a quality level for a few more years. Since 2014 is a contract year for Wilfork, the Pats should try to reduce his salary this year by extending his deal.